Second Draft! PLEASE READ! Willing to trade PS!

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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rbarcelo9
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:22 pm

Second Draft! PLEASE READ! Willing to trade PS!

Postby rbarcelo9 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:32 am

I think it's a little long, I have to do some trimming so feel free to suggest what you think I should cut out! DETERMINED is also in caps because I want to replace one of them with another word, but cant seem to find the right word. Thanks in advance!


The lobby had a distinct smell of aged wood, the floor was scuffed and looked dirty from the countless amount of steps that had been taken down this path. The bars were thick and slightly rusted and screeched when they slid open. I was at Sumter Correctional facility, a prison that housed murderers, rapist, kidnappers and any and all other inmates that the justice system deemed unfit to be amongst us average citizens. My whole life I had been told that this is a place I'd never want to be. That the men behind these bars were to be isolated and feared. Somewhere inside sat our client, who in 1990 was convicted and sentenced to three life sentences for kidnapping, rape, and murder.
I nervously sat in a small room with my arms crossed around my case file, scared to make the slightest of movements. He sat across from me, looking at the ground. Nothing was said while both myself and the staff attorney got settled behind an old battered desk. His hands were shaking, and the sound of the metal cuffs that were tightly wrapped around his hands and feet provided some unsettling background noise. After a brief introduction the staff attorney explained to him that we were with the Innocence Project of Florida, and that we would be taking his case in efforts to seek his exoneration. The look on his face was one of pure joy, one that is rarely seen in everyday life. Eyes that were full of pain and sorrow quickly widened and displayed hope and gratitude. Throughout our meeting, he graciously thanked us, showing a form of appreciation like I had never before seen or felt. Just as we were preparing to leave, he stared at the ground and began to cry. He raised his head and whipped his eyes dry, then looked at us and said, " this is the happiest moment of my life".
I left Sumter Correctional facility that day a different person. For the first time in my life I felt like I had found my calling. The possibility that not everyone behind prison bars was guilty was an idea I had never given much thought. However, after the meeting I was convinced that our client was innocent, and I was DETERMINED to help him see his family again. I spent most of the next year working on this case, rummaging through case files, visiting his family, and reading anything and everything I could that was related to the homicide. This work, which is commonly looked at as the undesirable work of an attorney, was what I loved so much. No one understood why I spent hours reading depositions, or weeks tweaking one sentence in the motion I was writing. However, I needed no outside influence or motivation. That one key statement or piece of evidence that could set an innocent man free was right in front of me, and I was DETERMINED to find it.
My time at the Innocent Project of Florida has fueled this newly found passion and drive, and is the reason I am applying to law school. It has also opened my eyes to the numerous problems and injustices that take place throughout our court systems. While reviewing cases, I could not help but notice that most of these people who have been wrongfully convicted are either black or latino. As a fluent spanish speaker and writer, I was often assigned cases in which the correspondence was in Spanish. Most of these latino clients knew nothing of the American legal system, and had never even considered pursuing the countless avenues for appeals that exist. These types of cases were especially difficult for me, a latino, because while reviewing these cases it was clear that these individuals were taken advantage of. As the son of immigrants who did not speak english for the first ten years that they lived in this country, I empathized with these clients and wanted nothing more than to help them. When I looked at their pictures, I imagined my grandfather as a young cuban man trying to make a living in a new country. This motivated me to re-apply to Florida State University and take Spanish classes in order to perfect my Spanish verbal and writing skills, so that I could provide assistance to the thousands of latino inmates who are denied adequate representation due to the language barrier.
As a lawyer, I look to further pursue the Innocence Project's mission and continue to assist those who society and the rest of the world have given up on. The Innocence Project has given me the opportunity to meet a handful of exonerees and their families. Many of these individuals have extremely high spirits, and despite being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for years, have faith in the criminal justice system. When in need of motivation or encouragement I think about what an exoneree once told me when I asked him how he could still trust a system that wrongfully incarcerated him for 24 years. He said, I have faith because of people like you, students who are dedicated to the project; I know you guys are not going to let me down.

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rbarcelo9
Posts: 537
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:22 pm

Re: Second Draft! PLEASE READ! Willing to trade PS!

Postby rbarcelo9 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:07 pm

anyone?

JJDancer
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:41 pm

Re: Second Draft! PLEASE READ! Willing to trade PS!

Postby JJDancer » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:04 pm

rapist --> should be plural, rapists

determined --> you could say "I resolved to help him..."

young cuban man --> capitalize Cuban

I think it is compelling, well structured and gives a solid "why law" reason.
There are a few times when I think you talk too much about the inmates and how they felt so maybe you can trim that (in the conclusion).

Could you please comment on the idea/feeling of my introduction: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=138457
Thanks.

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vttran9
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Re: Second Draft! PLEASE READ! Willing to trade PS!

Postby vttran9 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:33 pm

"He raised his head and whipped his eyes dry, then looked at us and said..." ---wiped

"When I looked at their pictures, I imagined my grandfather as a young cuban man trying to make a living in a new country." ---- "I was reminded" seems to be more suitable

"These types of cases were especially difficult for me, a latino, because while reviewing these cases it was clear that these individuals were taken advantage of. " ---"as a latino" sounds better

I think you should delete that sentence. We can assume its difficult for you since they are your race and you mention later that you empathize with them. The sentence just sounds awkward overall. The "latino" part, the preposition at the end, plus you already made it clear that they did not understand the system. You also don't need to mention that they were "taken advantage of." Clearly, they were very unlucky but "taken advantage of" goes a little too far. You don't want to invoke too much pathos in your paper. Your motivations may appeal to readers more if you highlight the fact that you want to help these people, and downplay the negativity with the system.

First three paragraphs were very clear but the fourth one needs to be more organized. I had to reread some sentences twice.

My first time giving feedback so hope that helps!

This is a great story though. PM me if you need anymore feedback. I am still working on mine so perhaps we can trade later on.




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